The popular thoroughfare Spitalerstrasse is also one of Hamburg’s most important, located in the heart of downtown between the city hall and the main railway station. And its pedestrian zone, which runs alongside another pedestrian shopping street, Mönckebergstrasse, is one of Germany’s ten busiest streets.
Spitalerstrasse shops are open till 8 pm (Saturdays, as well), and one of the things that’s especially great is that there’s street life and nightlife even after the shops close for the night. Another great thing is that rather than mostly clothing and accessories, many of these shops carry a wide variety of goods (even a Lego store!), including those little things a student apartment always needs.
While you’re here, check out the centuries-old Hanseatic architecture, and don’t forget a pit stop off at a café or cafeteria for a steaming cup of German coffee and a tasty, typical kuchen (pastry).
Fortunately for your wallet, perhaps the easiest and fastest ways of getting around Hamburg are also the cheapest: StadtRAD is the local public bicycle scheme, and the public transport system of U-Bahn trains as well as city buses all communicate Spitalerstrasse with the rest of the city (various bus lines, and U-Bahn yellow U3 line, Mönckebergstrasse stop).
But wait, there’s more! Another shopping hub especially popular with young people is about 20 minutes by bus northwest. The Schanzenviertel (fondly dubbed Schanze by locals) has an alt vibe and is especially known for inexpensive young fashion, including lots of secondhand and vintage clothing shops.
Photo | Carsten Frenzl